Korea to Launch Task Force on Special Weapons Technology
(Source: Korea Overseas Information Service; issued July 5, 2006)
Korea will set up a dedicated weapons technology control team to be charged with helping prevent sensitive materials from slipping into the wrong hands, the government said on Tuesday (July 4).

The team, which will begin work next week, is expected to significantly tighten official oversight over the commercial and military technology that can be used to make missiles, chemical weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, the Ministry of Science and Technology said.

The measure comes in the midst of growing international calls to better enforce the Wassenaar Arrangement.

The Wassenaar pact, to which Korea is a signatory, restricts the export of commercial products to certain countries that might threaten global stability. The United Nations has also stressed the need to monitor such trade.

"In the past, the Commerce and Industry Ministry was responsible for keeping tabs on this, but there have been calls for a more concerted effort," a science ministry official said. "While the United States is particularly anxious about the issue, Korea, as a responsible member of the international community, needs to be more careful."

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